Question about Sewing Machines

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The bobbin thread is showing on top. It seems that I may need to adjust the bobbin tension but I am unsure as to how to do that.

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  • Sewing Machines Master
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The first thing is to decrease the upper thread tension. The bobbin tension is usually the last thing to adjust as it is set at the factory.

Posted on May 10, 2015

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  • Sewing Machines Master
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Sorry but neither am I sure since I do not know the make or model .

Posted on Apr 25, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: how do I know which tension to adjust?

Are you sure that a stitch is being created each time, or is it missing some....

On a scrap, sew a zigzag to ensure that at least the stitches are being formed, if not, or missing some, look to timing.

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your
projects).

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with
a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to
disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

If you want any more help with this, just post back here, or, drop a line through the "Contact Us" page at www.bargainbox.com.au

Posted on Feb 24, 2008

  • 6 Answers

SOURCE: Singer CG 550 Top thread keeps wraping around the bobbin and jam

Have you checked the top thread is correctly placed in the spring of the bobbin case?

Posted on Feb 21, 2009

bargainbox
  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: janome 9500 bobbin tension too tight can I adjust it

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.

The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle, 
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your projects). 

IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

BOBBIN TENSION:
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension. 

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean 
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits) 

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned. 

TOP LOADER:
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

FRONT LOADER:
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all 
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at 
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is, 
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

OTHER ISSUES:
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine 
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover ! 

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with 
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the 
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !
 
 

www.bargainbox.com.au 

Posted on May 01, 2009

  • 1116 Answers

SOURCE: Needle thread looping underneath, threads not interlocking at all

If the machine is now threaded, lift the presser foot.

Now, pull about 10" of thread through the needle.

The next time you thread the machine, lift the presser foot first.

When the presser foot is up, the tension control opens and allows the thread to "seat" into the control, then when the foot is down the control closes to the indicated setting.

When threading the machine with the foot is down, thread does not enter the tension control and when you start to sew, there is no tension on the thread.

No tension = loosey, goosey, loopy stitches underneath.

Because the lack of tension on the top thread, the bobbin thread cannot lock a proper stitch.

Posted on Mar 10, 2010

  • 12 Answers

SOURCE: Brother pe770 bobbin thread is showing on top of fabric.

First check threading. If it is done properly, then it's probably because it is dirty between the lower tension blade and the bobbin case body. Remove this blade, clean, reassemble and it shoud work.

Posted on Jul 07, 2012

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3 Answers

I have a brother PR1000 and on the test stitch there is too much bobbin thread showing underneath. do I adjust the tension in the top thread or the bobbin tension?


Yes Adjust to more tight see what it'll do.
Bottom bobby is too tight or upper thread control is too lose.

Good luck

Mai

Jul 12, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

Tip

How to adjust the tension on your sewing machine


Few things are more frustrating than not being able to get the tension on your sewing machine balanced. Here are a few tips on how to do it:
1. Make it a habit to thread your machine with the pressure foot UP. This disengages the tension disks so the thread is able to slip easily between them.
2. Always adjust your machine's tension with the pressure foot DOWN. If it's up, although the numbers on the tension dial may move, the tension settings on the disks don't.
3. Remember that the numbers on the tension disks are relative. Generally, "3" is a good place to start, but it's only a number. Increase the numbers to tighten the tension, decrease them to loosen it.
4. Use different color threads in the top and in the bobbin to make changes easier to see.
5. Sew a few inches, stop, and examine the stitches. Adjust the tension just a little, stitch a bit more, then examine again. Repeat as needed until there is no (or very little) of the top thread showing on the bottom fabric and no (or very little) of the bobbin thread showing on top.
But how do you know which way to adjust the dial?
This is where a lot of the confusion seems to come from, because it 'seams' backwards! Look carefully on the bottom, the bobbin side. If you're using the same color threads both on top and in the bobbin, it can be hard to see, but usually what you'll see if you have 'loopy' threads on the bottom, is that the loops are actually the top thread and that the bobbin thread is laying on top of the fabric. Using different color threads makes this obvious.
What's happening is that the top tension is too loose, so it's not pulling the bobbin thread up into the fabric.
There's a tendency to see the loops on the bottom and think the bobbin tension needs adjusting, but the real problem is with the top tension. (There is a bobbin tension adjustment but you shouldn't have to mess with that very often, if at all.)
I've posted a couple of photos at www.robbiesews.blogspot.com so you can see what I mean by balanced tension.
Happy Sewing!


on Mar 10, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Straight stitch. Top is fine loose on bottomadjusting top tension does not help how to adjust bottom tension?


Usually, if there are loose threads under the fabric, it is the top thread that is too loose. Check your sewing sample closely--you can even test with two different color threads to help distinguish which thread is which. Loose top thread will generally be pulled DOWN and show under the fabric. Loose bobbin thread will be pulled UP and show on the top of the fabric. The ideal tension is when both threads MEET in the middle of the fabric.

First, remove the thread from the machine. Install a brand new needle. Always Raise the Presser Foot and thread the upper thread, making certain the thread path is correct.

Check that the bobbin thread is threaded correctly and turning the proper direction in the bobbin case.

Set the upper tension to the midway point and sew a retest. A tweaking of upper tension may be necessary to get it where it should be. Generally, upper tension should make the majority of adjustments needed for tension correction. Bobbin tension is one of the last tension adjustments to make as it is very sensitive and can go awry very quickly.

If, in fact, the bobbin tension is off, the tension skrew on the bobbin case is where the adjustment is made. Before making any bobbin tension adjustments, mark where the skrew slot is located on the bobbin case with a permanent marker. This will allow you to reverse your changes if necessary. Be CAREFUL as TINY changes make HUGE differences in tension. Make only 1/8th turn adjustment, then retest before making another adjustment.

Remember that tension testing and readjustment are a necessity when sewing. The same tension that will work with light weight thread and fine fabric will most likely not work when using heavy thread on drapery fabric. Get comfortable with making tension adjustments to get the ideal tension for each project.

Understanding Thread Tension Threads

Oh You Crafty Gal Sewing Lesson 10 How to Fix Tension on Your Sewing...

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&ved=0ahUKEwilg-3t2vHMAhVJDlIKHXnsBWYQFgheMA0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ca.uky.edu%2FHES%2Ffcs%2FFACTSHTS%2FCT-MMB-213.pdf&usg=AFQjCNE4QlGk1Fvt8K2UGCRCfzMpGS-A2Q&cad=rja

How to Adjust the Tension on Sewing Machine

...

May 24, 2016 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Why is the bobbin thread bunching up?


if your saying that your bobbin thread is balling up under the platen plate , this is a sure sign that your top thread tension is not correct and there isn't enough tension to pull the bobbin thread up from below

Mar 24, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

The stitch which should be on the bottom seems to be on the top


Difficult question to understand and hard to address without knowing the machine & model.

Do you mean the bobbin thread is showing on the top of the fabric? If so, try loosening the upper tension and test. The mid-point between the high and low number is the most common factory setting for upper tension, although that should be adjusted to suit the fabric, thread, and your project. The ideal tension is reached when the upper thread and bobbin thread meet in the middle of the fabric (ie, bobbin thread does not show on the top and needle thread does not show on the bottom.

...

Nov 12, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My brother pe770 is allowing bobbin thread to show on top sporadically which makes the stitching look like it is speckled with white. I have adjusted tension..cleaned and changed everything.


Shelia,

when sewing these parts of the design, (small stitches? ) load your bobbin with the same top thread. Just match the top thread color, and done! No more white bobbin thread in the topside of your designs.

Cheers,
Kelly
Embroidery Services
San Diego, CA

Feb 25, 2015 | Brother PE770 Computerized Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have a 7570 and cannot get the tension the bottom thread is loose and can be pulled right thru I checked the top and adjusted the bottom and nothing seems to change.


When you thread your bobbin in the bobbin case, hold it only by the thread. If the bobbin and bobbin case fall, the tension is too loose. If this is the case, turn the bobbin tension screw 1/4 turn until the bobbin and bobbin case do not fall when only holding by the thread. The top tension should be set between 4 and 5. The best way to see which one needs to be adjusted is to do a zigzag. If the thread is pulling more on top and your top tension is set between 4 and 5, the bobbin tension is too loose. If your top tension is set between 4 and 5 and it's pulling on the bottom, the bottom is too tight.

Feb 17, 2010 | PfaFF Creative 7570

1 Answer

Pfaff varimatic 6091 sew a rag quilt with jean and flannel,I can't get my tension right it seems to be funny on the bottom stitch,where shoulf the top tension be set at 4 1/2 ,when do I adjust the bobbin...


Hi! The bobbin tension rarely needs to be adjusted. First, make sure you're using the appropriate size needle and thread for your fabric (I'd probably use either a 'denim' needle or a universal size 14) and also that the upper thread and bobbin are threaded absolutely correctly. These can throw off the tension! Also, take the time to clean out the bobbin area. That can throw your stitch off also.

If the stitch on the bottom is loose, so that you see the top threads, then the top tension is too loose. If the top stitch is too loose and you see the bobbin threads on top, then the top tension is too tight.

It helps to thread the machine with different color thread on top and in the bobbin, and then stitch an inch or so on the same type of fabric as you're using in your quilt. Check the stitch. If you need to adjust the top tension, make sure the pressure foot is down! Adjust a little, stitch a few inches, and check again. Repeat until you don't see any (or very little) bobbin thread on the top or top thread on the bottom.

If you go through all these steps, and the bobbin thread is still loose (and you've tightened up the top tension), then there is a tiny little screw on the side of the bobbin case that you can use to adjust the bobbin tension. Turn the screw just a little bit (less than a quarter turn), stitch, check, etc. Once the bobbin tension is set, you shouldn't ever have to change it.

Let me know if this helps, ok?

Happy sewing!




Feb 10, 2010 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Thread breaks off


Where does it break? You change tension at the top via the tension discs the thread passed through, and at the bottom by adjusting the small screw on the bobbin case - the screw on the front part of the spring. Thread size matters as well as needle size. For everyday upholstery I use #69 nylon thread, and "G" bobbins.
If the thread's breaking at the hook you may need to adjust timing. But most commonly thread breaks because of improper tension, threading, needle or thread size.

Mar 22, 2009 | Consew 226R-1

2 Answers

Help! Tension Problems


Looping on the top means there is no tension on bottom. The bobbin thread generally rotates counter clockwise. The thread must get under the tension spring. The spring must be adjusted equal to the top tension. This you will have to play with to tighten or loosen as needed. When you sew in a zigzag you might want to loosen the top tension slightly. On a regular basis remove the bobbin case and clean with a qtip. On the race put one drop of sewing machine oil. Clean the bobbin case and replace.

Mar 25, 2017 | Singer 57815 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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